CIS-A2K/Events/Wiki-workshop at AU Delhi (Feb 2019)/Report

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General overview[edit]

The initial talks for the workshop happened between Prof. Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan (Dean, School of Design), Saumyaanaidu, and KCVelaga, during Wikigraphists Bootcamp, in September 2018. The idea was later forwarded to CIS-A2K, and Ananth (CIS-A2K) coordinated the required efforts from A2K side for this program towards the end of 2018. Since participants of the workshop were students majoring in social design, initially there was ambiguity on the workshop’s syllabus, either Wikipedia or vector graphics. But keeping in view the objectives of Wikimedia in Education, it was decided on Wikipedia (en), and other aspects could always be followed up.

The program plan was finalised in December 2018, which included a combination of online sessions and an onsite workshop. The first online session was conducted on 15 January 2019, during which Tanveer Hasan gave an introductory talk around knowledge production, internet, and how Wikimedia fits into that sphere. Later part of the session dealt with the basics of Wikipedia, and the core content policies. Though the second online session was scheduled to happen on 8 March 2019, it was called off as only a very few students turned up.

The main workshop (onsite) was conducted for three days—from 28 February to 2 March 2019. It was led by KCVelaga, facilitated by Saumyaanaidu. The session kicked off with a round of introductions, and the creation of Wikimedia accounts for participants. The morning session dealt with basic Wikipedia policies, including the five pillars, core content policies of English Wikipedia, avoiding puffery, and “What Wikipedia is not”?. Then the students were divided into pairs and each pair was asked to take up an article to do a quick assessment with regards to previously discussed concepts. Post-assessment, each pair presented their observations to the rest of the participants. The afternoon session was largely spent on discussing various sources of information on the internet, and also practising the Wiki-markup in sandboxes.

Day 2 of the workshop was started with participants onboarding The Wikipedia Adventure. This activity was included for them to revise topics from the previous day, and get more hands-on experience. With an objective to do mainspace edits, we used Citation Hunt to find articles with unsourced statements and added citations to them. This helped the students to research the internet, and get the experience of editing on English Wikipedia’s mainspace. During the second half, we had a discussion on how the patrolling system works on Wikipedia, more in-depth discussion around Manual of Style, and also WikiProjects. An interesting observation during this discussion was that, on English Wikipedia, there was no dedicated WikiProject for Design, but there is one for industrial design (as of February 2019). Some students expressed their interest to collaborate for establishing the project.

On Day 3, in the first half, participants were demonstrated about advanced Google search techniques. They found it quite helpful to improve their search abilities and were positive that it would of help while they research through the internet. It was followed by a talk on Wikimedia Commons, and participants went around the university campus to take photographs, which were later uploaded to WCommons. That was an interesting exercise for them to see the things from WCommons point of view i.e. checking them for minimal encyclopedic value. The latter part of the day was spent as an onsite event for “SVG Translation Campaign 2019 in India” where three more Wikimedians in and around Delhi joined us. Its report can be seen at CIS-A2K/Events/STC19IN Onsite at SDes, AUD.

Metrics from Program & Events Dashboard[edit]

  • Editors: 18
  • Articles Edited: 5
  • Total edits: 523
  • Words added: 112
  • Article views: 29.3K
  • WCommons uploads: 9 (5 files used in articles)

What worked well?[edit]

  • Students who were present in the sessions had been actively engaged in the process. In many workshops, especially when the audience is large, many of the participants remain out of sync with the ongoing process. But in this workshop, everyone was actively engaged.
  • It felt good to materialise the plans from Wikigraphists Bootcamp, and eventually we were able to make this workshop happen. It helped us to foster the relationship with the university and the design school more, and paving the way for further follow-up and outreach activities.
  • The activity of students assessing articles for a while, instead of directly jumping onto demonstrating Wiki markup worked well. It helped to build interest among the students, and also gave us a chance to hear interesting observations.
  • It was surprising to find out that there is no WikiProject Design (as of 16:42, 19 March 2019 (UTC)), in spite of having WikiProject Industrial Design and WikiProject Graphic Design. A few participants expressed their interest to work on the same. Post-workshop, a conversation was made with other editors on English Wikipedia, which can be seen at this link

What didn’t work well?[edit]

  • There was inconsistency in the participation of students. Though a set of students remained consistent throughout the workshop, some of who were present on Day 1 did not attend Day 2, and there were some new participants on Day 2, which required us to go through some aspects again briefly. This caused a delay in the plan.
  • This inconsistency also demanded to compromise on the actual plan and made it difficult to execute group activities. In the original program agenda, there were some activities which included interactive group exercises which we were not able to, at least in the way it was expected.
  • Three online sessions were planned initially, the main program mostly included hands-on sessions, and several group activities, which would have more interesting for the participants. But this didn’t work out as we had to call off the last two online sessions as only a very few turned up in the second online session, and owing to students’ academic constraints. This led to redesigning of the whole program for the main workshop, where we had to remove several such activities.

What could have been done better?[edit]

  • For the second online session, only 2-3 students turned up, and as a result, we called it off. However, it could have been better if the session was conducted irrespective of the number of people who attended. This would have helped the people who attended not to get disinterested and also the 2-3 would have been helpful during the main workshop.
  • The program could have been designed better in such a way to include sessions that would be more engaging for students from a design background. Even though the main workshop could have had been structured in such a way to add interactive activities such as discussing the neutrality of the policies itself.
  • Measures to ensure consistent participation could have been implemented more rigorously. This also a bit related to the first point under this section, if the activities were more interactive, that could have also added to better participation.

Feedback from participants[edit]

What did you like about the workshop?[edit]

  • I liked how you built the context, concept, and theory. I also liked the quick tricks and bits of Wikipedia and Google Search.I liked the outdoor walk and SVG translation.
  • I liked how well composed from the content point of view was the workshop. I liked that the conversations/discussions invited more questions and they were adequately answered.
  • The in-depth manner of teaching.
  • The "talk" section [of articles]. This feature was interesting to know.
  • Along with learning about how to edit and create new Wikipedia pages, we also got to learn a new software (Inkscape) which I see myself using in the future.
  • The knowledge and information it provided. The view point of what Wikimedia stands for. The exploration to "neutral point of view." Making a new Wikipedia info. Page. Learning and reflecting that Wikipedia pages are only 1st hand information. Doubt clearing session.
  • The Details, the depth, and the different parts covered. Really chill and knowledgeable guys!

What didn't you like about the workshop?[edit]

  • Since I already know some editing, I was hoping for a more advanced workshop.
  • I was expecting the workshop to be strict about the time allocated for work but ended wasting a lot of time. This is, I understand, largely the problem of students, however most of the people had to wait for few.
  • It was a too long workshop , it could have been a week long workshop.
  • The duration and taking 3 days from our university schedule was a bit too much. Felt like a basic Wikipedia editing workshop. I expected to learn alot.
  • Note: This respone reads more of criticism of Wikipedia and its policies, rather than the workshop itself.
    To substantially prove a viewpoint the editor needs solid evidence in a form of newspaper, books that are already published but in contrast to the evidencing sometimes the topic is viewed only through the eyes of privileged authors & also sometimes are manipulated. With this small unorthodox viewpoint it just not make sense to write up as it certainly lead to cross editing by different users and tends to be threatening in terms of arguments. Some of the topics are critically controlled by the authorised members of Wikipedia. Hence it becomes very critical on what those authorised members think, and where they decide to draw a line. Just an oversight use of this tool within the power of totalitarian absolute anarchist would done the damage. {None the less this is just a philosophical viewpoint over the technological use}.
  • It could have been more interactive and fun.

What could have been done better?[edit]

  • I felt we wasted a lot of time waiting for the students and we should have kept a strict timeline for our agenda.
  • Time allocation can be improved. Rest it is a very potential workshop. Can become more engaging.
  • The pace could have been a little slower and it made a little more interactive with activities.
  • It could have been shorter, more interactive. I also feel that learning the simple editing first could have been more interesting, and then people who wanted to take it forward could learn the more complex methodology involved. It might have also helped to have some energizers in the workshop.
  • I think Krishna and Saumyaa did a wonderful job in instructing and guiding us through the entire workshop and there was nothing that could have been done better. They were very sweet and helpful!
  • To break down the whole structure of workshop into graphical representations. As the content and the info. Imbibed in it is heavy and diverse, turbulent it could have been much more fun if it could have been breakdown into Videos, Graphical form of Charts /Pictorial representations. The sessions then could have been communicated through webcast also.
  • Larger activities such as creating an article can be divided up into smaller steps.
  • Could be more interactive and could include group activity.

Overall rating[edit]

How do you recommend such a workshop to others?[edit]

Any other suggestions/comments[edit]

  • The form and the content of the workshop can be taught through Webcast also. Given that the support of logical Order of actions & instructions. {Carefully Designing the UX}. There is much to deal with the form as it is broader in a sense of where to draw or interpret The neutral point of view. So to give some specific example of Wikipedia pages would have helped.
  • these workshops are more sensable for the one who wants to be attend. I do not look myslef anywhere in the future editing anything on the wikipedia.


Potential followup activities[edit]

  • We will be starting a conversation with the interested students from this workshop, to explore opportunities for integrating their ongoing thesis work and assignments into Wikimedia projects. Since the students belong a design stream, we have opportunities for several activities such as uploading media files such as charts and infographics to WCommons, and release their graphics (such as illustrations) works under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
  • We'll be in touch with the students via email and WhatsApp group, where we will be posting regular updates about Wikimedia activities, such online campaigns, and also edit-a-thons/meetups in and around Delhi.